Build a DB2 for z/OS mobile application using IBM MobileFirst

A new era of applications focused on mobile devices is becoming increasingly important in large enterprises. Learn how you can build a DB2® for z/OS® mobile application using IBM MobileFirst Developer Edition. Using an easy-to-adapt example, this tutorial shows what needs to be done from the front end to the back-end database server to make this happen.


Jane Man (, Senior Software Engineer, IBM

Jane Man is a senior software engineer in development team in DB2 for z/OS. She has worked on various features of DB2 for z/OS. In addition to her development work, she is the enablement focal point and is involved in many enablement activities, including creating sample applications, demos, Hands on Labs, and presenting in conferences and bootcamps, etc. Before joining DB2 for z/OS, she was a developer in IBM Content Manager. Jane is a IBM Certified System Administrator for WebSphere Application Server; IBM Certified Database Administrator for DB2 Universal Database for z/OS, Linux, UNIX and Windows; IBM Certified Solution Designer for DB2 Content Manager; IBM Certified Deployment Profession for Tivoli Storage Manager; and IBM Certified Application developer for DB2 Universal Database Family.

Clement Leung (, Author, Consultant

Clement Leung is a Mission San Jose High School graduate and is planning to study computer science this fall.

21 September 2015

Also available in Chinese


Mobile is a pervasive tool that most people keep within reach most of the time, even while sleeping. We use our phones to browse from social media sites to shopping sites to gather information for making decisions. Mobile has changed the business landscape, causing CIOs to rethink how they conduct business. Mobile workloads can increase transaction rates from 10-50 percent — particularly read-only transactions by users constantly checking to see if a balance has been updated or whether a package is on its way. There may be unanticipated spikes in workload due to some special offers.

DB2 for z/OS is commonly used to store critical transaction data. A large number of data transactions in banking, retail, insurance, and government, etc. occur on DB2 for z/OS because of its quality of service, high availability, security, and performance.

The IBM MobileFirst Platform provides an integrated development and testing environment for mobile applications. The development environment is simplified by combining multiple set of tools, frameworks, and code bases into a single development environment, and only one code base to develop and maintain. It provides an Eclipse-based studio and command-line interface for:

  • Native application development:
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Windows Phone 8
    • Windows 8
  • Hybrid development (A combination of native apps and web app development)
  • Server-side development (adapters):
    • SQL Adapter
    • HTTP adapters
    • Java™ adapters
  • Mobile Console Browser (for testing and debugging)

In the following sections, we illustrate how to build a DB2 for z/OS mobile application using IBM MobileFirst Developer Edition for the following two simple scenarios, which can be used as a basis for building more complex applications:

  1. Retrieve string ID from SYSIBM.SYSXMLSTRINGS catalog table using regular SQL statements.
  2. Execute RUNSTATS for a particular database and tablespace by calling a stored procedure.

We will cover the following topics:

  • Installation and configuration
  • Client-side development
  • Server-side development
  • Using server-side result
  • Building, deploying, testing, and using IBM MobileFirst console
  • Running an Android emulator (optional)

Installation and configuration


IBM MobileFirst Developer Edition provides two development tools: Eclipse-based IDE (Developer Studio) and command-line interface (CLI), which is intended for more advanced users. In this tutorial, we focus on IBM MobileFirst Developer Studio.

To install IBM MobileFirst 7 Developer Studio:

  1. Install JRE 7
    • Oracle JRE 7 is required for developing an Android native app.
    • Make sure you install JRE7 and not JRE 8. The server does not start with the JRE 8. (at the time of this writing).
  2. Install Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers (one of the following): Juno SR2 (4.2.2), Kepler SR1 (4.3.1), Kepler SR2 (4.3.2), Luna SR1 (4.4.1), or Luna SR2 (4.4.2) Third Topic
    For this tutorial, we installed Juno SR2 (4.2.2).
  3. Start Eclipse, then select Help > Eclipse Marketplace.
    1. In the Find field, type MobileFirst Platform and click Go.
    2. (Optionally install: IBM Dojo Mobile Tools and IBM jQuery Mobile Tools.
  4. (Optionally install and configure Android native development: Android SDK, ADT Eclipse plug-in, creating Android Virtual Device (AVD). See details below.

To connect to DB2 for z/OS, you need db2jcc.jar and db2jcc_license_cisuz.jar (from DB2 Connect). Get more information about MobileFirst installation.

Optional: If you decide to set up the Android development environment (with Oracle JRE 7):

  1. Install the Android SDK. Scroll to Other Download Option > SDK Tools only.
  2. Install the ADT Eclipse plug-in and Inside Eclipse:
    • Click Help > Install New Software.
    • Click Add, enter location:
    • Select Developer Tools and follow the installation prompt.
  3. Add the SDK. Inside Eclipse, click Window > Android SDK Manager. By default, it installs the latest API level, but I also install API level 19.
  4. Add a virtual device (emulator). Inside Eclipse, click Window > Android Virtual Device Manager. Click Create button to create a new AVD. The below figure is an example of an AVD I used.
Figure 1. Example of an Android Virtual Device (AVD)
Image shows example of Android Virtual Device

Configure JNDI for DB2 for z/OS

Edit MobileFirst Development Server > servers > worklight > server.xml to add <library>, <dataSource>, similar to the code listing below. We will reference the database defined here later.

Click to see code listing

    <library id="db2jcc">
    <fileset dir="C:\JCCJars\JCC411" includes="db2jcc4.jar db2jcc_license_cisuz.jar"/>
    <dataSource id="db2" jndiName="dtec222">
      <jdbcDriver libraryRef="db2jcc"/>
      <properties.db2.jcc databaseName="STLEC1" password="password1" portNumber="446" serverName="" user="sysadm"/>
    <dataSource id="db2_serveros" jndiName="zserveros">
      <jdbcDriver libraryRef="db2jcc"/>
      <properties.db2.jcc databaseName="EOSDBV11" password="password2" portNumber="5456" serverName="" user="IOD02S"/>

Scenario 1

Scenario 1: Retrieve string from string ID from the SYSIBM.SYSXMLSTRINGS table using regular SQL statements

SYSIBM.SYSXMLSTRINGS is a catalog table that contain mapping between string and string ID used inside XML storage. There is a set of pre-defined mapping when DB2 is installed. The below image is an output example of the SYSIBM.SYSXMLSTRINGS catalog table.

Figure 2. Output of the SYSIBM.SYSXMLSTRINGS table
Image shows output of SYSIBM.SYSXMLSTRINGS table

Client-side development

As mentioned, we focus on using IBM MobileFirst Studio for our development. Create an IBM MobileFirst project:

  1. Click File > New > MobileFirst Project.
  2. Enter Hello2 as the project name.
  3. Select Hybrid Application.
  4. Enter Hello2 as the application name.
Figure 3. Files layout for a newly created project
Image shows files layout for a newly created project

The above image illustrates the files layout for a newly created project. The front-end display is defined in index.html under apps > Hello2 > common.

Inside index.html, as shown below, we define a text field to enter a string ID value.

Click to see code listing

    <body style="display: none;">
    <div data-role="page" id="page">
    <div data-role="content" style="padding: 15px">
	  <img src="images/db2v11Image5.jpg"/>
    	Find DB2 for z/OS XML String from String id
    <label for="text">String id:</label>
	<input type="text" name="text" id="stringid"/>
	<input type="button" value="Submit" src="js/main.js" onclick="loadFeeds(document.getElementById('stringid').value)"/>
	<div id="wrapper">
		  <ul id="itemsList"/>

  <script src="js/initOptions.js"/>
  <script src="js/main.js"/>
  <script src="js/messages.js"/>

When the Submit button is clicked, the loadFeeds function in main.js is called as shown below.

    function loadFeeds(stringid){
    WL.Logger.debug("Inside loadFeeds");;
    stringidInput = stringid;

    var invocationData = {
             adapter : 'Hello2DB2Adapter',
             procedure : 'getStringFromStringId',
             parameters : [stringid]

        onSuccess : loadFeedsSuccess,
        onFailure : loadFeedsFailure

As shown, inside loadFeeds, the procedure getStringFromStringId is called within Hello2DB2Adapter. An adapter is a server-side technology we will discuss in the next section.

Server-side development

Figure 4. IBM MobileFirst architecture
Image shows IBM MobileFirst architecture

The above image is a simplified architecture of IBM MobileFirst. A mobile application needs to access a server that provides services it needs. IBM MobileFirst provides a set of adapters for server-side development. In this scenario, we need to create a SQL adapter to connect to DB2 for z/OS.

Create an SQL adapter

To create an SQL adapter, inside Eclipse:

  1. Click File > New > MobileFirst Adapter.
  2. Select Hello2 as project name.
  3. Select SQL Adapter.
  4. Enter Hello2DB2Adapter as adapter name.
  5. Check Create procedure for offline JSONStore.
Figure 5. Creating an SQL adapter
Image shows creating an SQL adapter

After an SQL adapter is created, there will be two files under the newly created adapter: Hello2DB2Adapter.xml and Hello2Adapter-impl.js. as illustrated below.

Figure 6. File layout of creating a new adapter
Image shows file layout of creating a new adapter
  1. Edit Hello2DB2Adapter.xml to:
    1. Add zserveros as dataSourceJNDIName. This should be the same as the one defined by the jndiName attribute in <dataSource> in server.xml.
    2. Add a procedure call getStringFromStringId.
  <connectionPolicy xsi:type="sql:SQLConnectionPolicy">

<procedure name="procedure1"/>
<procedure name="procedure2"/>
<procedure name="getHello2DB2Adapters"> </procedure>
<procedure name="addHello2DB2Adapter"> </procedure>
<procedure name="updateHello2DB2Adapter"> </procedure>
<procedure name="deleteHello2DB2Adapter"> </procedure>
<procedure name="getStringFromStringId"></procedure>
  1. Edit Hello2DB2Adapter-impl.js to implement getStringFromStringId, as below.
var select2Statement = WL.Server.createSQLStatement(

function getStringFromStringId(param1) 
  return WL.Server.invokeSQLStatement
       preparedStatement : select2Statement,
       parameters : [param1]

Deploy and test an adapter

  1. Right-click the Hello2DB2Adapter > Run As > Deploy MobileFirst Adapter.
  2. Right-click Hello2DB2Adapter > Run As > Call MobileFirst Adapter.

Enter the value of the parameter, then click Run. A GUI like below would appear.

Figure 7. Call IBM MobileFirst procedure GUI
Image shows calling IBM MobileFirst procedure GUI

The result, as shown below, appears in the JSON format.

   "isSuccessful": true,
         "STRING": "instruction"

Use the result from the server side

As shown, when invokeProcedure throws success, loadFeedsSuccess is called.

In order to utilize the result after calling an adapter or external resource, we need to edit main.js, implement loadFeedsSuccess, as below. Note the resultSet from a SQL adapter is a result.invocationResult.resultSet object. We first check the length of this object. If it is not empty, we call displayFeeds() with resultSet object as parameter.

The following listing shows the implementation of loadFeedsSuccess in main.js.

Inside displayFeeds(), we call to display the first value.

function loadFeedsSuccess(result){
    WL.Logger.debug("Feed retrieve success");
    if (result.invocationResult.resultSet.length>0) 
    else if (result.invocationResult.resultSet.length==0) 
function displayFeeds(resultSet){
    var ul = $('#itemsList');[0].STRING, "String id for " + stringidInput + " is found.", 
                 text : 'Reload',
                 handler : WL.Client.reloadApp 	

Build and deploy

  1. Right-click Hello2\apps\Hello2 > Run As > Build All Environments.
  2. Select iPhone, iPad, Android phones, and tablets.

After a successful build, you should see folders for Android, iPad, and iPhone, as shown below. A project called Hello2Hello2Android is created as well. (Note: The first Hello2 is the original project name and the second is the original application name.)

Figure 8. Folders after building all the environments
Image shows folders after building all the environments

Test using IBM MobileFirst console

  1. Right-click Hello2 > Open MobileFirst Console.

A browser similar to the one below will appear.

Figure 9. IBM MobileFirst console
Image shows IBM MobileFirst console
  1. Click Applications.
  2. Click Android for Hello2, as shown below.
Figure 10. Console for Hello2 application
Image shows console for Hello2 application

Click to see larger image

Figure 10. Console for Hello2 application

Image shows console for Hello2 application
  1. Click the Preview button.
Figure 11. Android Simulator under Hello2 application
Image shows Android Simulator under Hello2 application

A mobile browser simulator like below will appear, and we can test the new Hello2 application.

Figure 12. Android simulator
Image shows Android simulator

Click to see larger image

Figure 12. Android simulator

Image shows Android simulator

Run Android emulator (optional)

If the Android SDK ADT Eclipse plug-in has been installed and an Android virtual device is defined, you can run the Android emulator as well.

  1. Right-click Hello2Hello2Android > Run As > Android Application.

The following image illustrates the screen you will see on the Android emulator. Depending on the CPU of your machine, response time may vary.

Figure 13. Android emulator
Image shows Android emulator

Scenario 2

Scenario 2: Execute runstats for a particular database and table space by calling a stored procedure

  1. Follow the instructions above to create a new IBM MobileFirst project and a new hybrid application called Runstats.
  2. Create a SQL adapter for Runstats project called RunstatsSQLAdapter.
  3. Edit RunstatsSQLAdapter.xml to:
    • Add zserveros as dataSourceJNDIName (or whatever JNDI name you defined in server.xml).
    • Add <procedure name="runstatSP1"/>.
  4. Edit RunstatsSQLAdapter-impl.js to implement runstatSP1. We need to call a procedure called SYSPROC.DSNUTILS using WL.Server.invokeSQLStoredProcedure() and pass in the parameters. The listing below shows part of its implementation.

    In addition to runstats, other utilities can be called in the same way.

    The following listing shows the implementation of runstatSP1.

    function runstatSP1(database, tablespace) {	
        var utilityStatement = "RUNSTATS TABLESPACE " + database + "." + tablespace + " UPDATE(ALL)"; 
        utilityStatement = utilityStatement.toString(); 
        return WL.Server.invokeSQLStoredProcedure({
            procedure : "SYSPROC.DSNUTILS",
            parameters : [123456789,
                          "RUNSTATS TABLESPACE",
  5. Implement the front end (client side) similar to scenario 1. In index.xml, we need two inputs: one for the database and one for the table space. Main.js needs to be modified to utilize the result after invoking runstatSP1.

Figure 14 illustrates the screen you will use when you run this application on an Android emulator.

Figure 14. Execute runstats in Android emulator
Image shows executing runstats in Android emulator


This tutorial discusses how to build a DB2 for z/OS mobile application and the related server-side development using IBM MobileFirst 7 Developer Edition. We illustrated how to install, configure, develop, build, and test the mobile application.


Thanks to Susan Malaika for her comments and assistance with this tutorial.




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